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|Saturday, April 28, 2001, updated at 08:18(GMT+8)|
Russia, DPRK Sign Agreement on Military CooperationRussian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and his visiting counterpart from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kim Il Chol, signed an agreement Friday on military cooperation between the two ministries.
Before the signing, the two top defense officials held talks on military cooperation, in particular Russia's aid in military personnel training, said Ivanov.
Stressing the traditional neighborly relations between the two countries, Ivanov said the Russian-DPRK cooperation "had gained additional impetus after President Vladimir Putin visited Pyongyang last year."
"After some political and economic changes, we are ready to continue dialogue on a new basis, proceeding from mutual interests and profits," he said.
Kim, who arrived here Thursday for a three-day visit, on Friday also met Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov, who is in charge of the Russian military- industrial complex.
Klebanov said after the meeting that Russia is to modernize DPRK's weapons in the framework of the just-inked agreement.
Stressing the agreement posing no threat to Russia's relations with South Korea, Klebanov said Russia's main goal is to pursue successful negotiations between north and south parts of the Korean Peninsula.
Russian experts say that up to 80 percent of DPRK aviation fleet is of Soviet and Russian make. Most of the fighter jets of the country's air force are in need of modernization. About 95 percent of DPRK ground-force equipment and 100 percent of its anti- aircraft equipment are made in the Soviet Union.
Kim is the first DPRK defense chief to visit Moscow after the former Soviet disintegrated in December 1991.
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